Apple has announced upgraded standard processors plus new graphics options for the Retina display versions of the iMac. The updates are aimed at bridging the gap between the iMac range and the ultra-high spec iMac Pro.

While the iMac Pro is a workstation with Intel Xeon processors, the iMac is has been more than a step below. This latest update brings the level of the iMac up to meet the base level of the iMac Pro line.

The message is that it's a tasty machine for users of all levels including pros who don't need a workstation-level machine - many iMacs are used in workplaces as front-of-house machines, for example, while in the home they're also often used as a machine in a family room. 

The 27-inch model now ships with 6 core Intel Core processors as standard, upgraded from quad core. There's also an option for the supercharged Core i9 with 8 cores, giving up to 5GHz Turbo performance. You can also opt for the AMD Radeon Vega Pro 48 with 8GB of high bandwidth memory.

AppleApple powers up the iMac with more cores and options image 2

Six cores is now an option on the 21.5-inch, while you can also spec it up with an AMD Radeon Pro Vega 20 with 4GB of memory. Apple says that together these upgrades deliver around 60 per cent faster performance than previously with around 80 per cent graphics performance improvement - that last figure isn't too much of a surprise as the Radeon Pro is a serious upgrade.

The DDR4 memory used in the iMac has also received a speed bump. These changes are only coming to the retina version of the iMac - the non-retina base-level version remains unchanged.

The new 21.5-inch iMac with Retina 4K display starts at $1,299/£1,249 and the new 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display starts at $1,799/£1,749. Both models are available to pre-order now.